As Canadian fans wait for news of James Hinchcliffe’s future opportunities in the NTT IndyCar Series, Dalton Kellett, another Toronto-area native, could be headed towards representing the country in 2020.
Following four seasons of training in Indy Lights, with the first three at Andretti Autosport and the most recent with Juncos Racing, the 26-year-old is angling to land one of the few remaining seats on the IndyCar grid.
Vacancies at A.J. Foyt Racing, Carlin Racing, and Dale Coyne Racing are known to exist, and with a part-time budget to offer, Kellett’s name has been mentioned as one of a few drivers who could spend time in the second Foyt entry next season.
“There’s no specifics to offer, but we are talking with some teams since the Lights season ended,” he told RACER. “We haven’t signed a deal with anyone yet, but the goal is to be in IndyCar Series and racing at the Indy 500.”
Altogether, Kellett spent eight years on the Road to Indy, adding IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship experience to his resume in 2019 with three wins in its LMP2 class. The outings, as he reveals, were part of a bigger plan involving IndyCar.
“It’s been a long road to get here, and I’ve put eight seasons into the Road to Indy and that series has shown itself as a great preparation for IndyCar’s rookie class,” he said. “Last season, I branched out into IMSA at PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, and I jumped at that opportunity. The one thing about the Road to Indy is you don’t do live pit stops, so I wanted to spend some time in IMSA learning those, and the endurance racing.”
Just as Kellett hopes to represent Canada in IndyCar, his passion for education is another flag the Queen’s University graduate will fly.
“The motivation behind getting the engineering physics degree started when I was younger,” he said. “I was tinkering with everything — Legos, dirt bikes, and all of that — and when I was racing karts, academics was always really important for me. Sports never supersedes the importance of education, and when I graduated high school, I decided to pursue my degree while racing. I have that education to fall back on.”
“Once you’ve taken the time to get a degree in a STEM field, you have to either use that knowledge to further your career, or have an imperative to promote STEM. And as an athlete, I have a platform to inspire the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and look forward to using the platform of IndyCar to promote education.”